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View Poll Results: What do you do
Drop him off where you found him 1 4.55%
Drop him off at the local shelter 9 40.91%
Owner call and says everythings ok, take it back 2 9.09%
Owner calls and is alarmed, take it back 5 22.73%
Keep it 5 22.73%
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The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 04:48 PM   #1
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The Cat Conundrum

So we're out for a walk today and we're approached by a totally emaciated cat. Big guy lengthwise, but he's down to bones and skin. He has a tag on, and it shows the address of the house we're standing in front of. Big 3000 square footer, immaculate lawn and apparently well furnished. Nobodys home. Garage door is open about enough for a cat to squeeze under.

After a short debate, we brought the cat home and fed it. I'm going to guess he had another day, maybe two in him before he kicked the bucket.

I called the number on the tag, which was on a collar about 3" too big for his neck (which shows recent weight loss to me), got an automated recording to leave a message.

I dont know if its someone that went on vacation and left him with a bowl of food that was eaten by something else, had their pet service not show up, if they died in their own house, or if they're one of those super pet owners that just doesnt feed the animal.

The presence of a collar tag says to me that they're probably not in the category that doesnt give a crap about the cat.

My plan is to wait until later today, see if someone calls, then decide what to do from there.

The cats obviously not being taken care of. I really cant keep it, i'm way over-animal as it is. Then the secondary question is if the owner calls and wants the cat back and is happy with how they're treating it, what do I do?
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

I always consider cats as wild animals. Most states do too - they don't require them to have tags like dogs. Feed the cat outdoors and make him an outdoor cat. If he strays off, he probably has found a better home. I doubt if he will though. You may end up spending a little in vet bills over time, but the cat will be better off with you than down the street.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

Not really an option. I have three healthy, large cats that would kick its butt if they so much as saw it, along with three dogs and plenty of other neighborhood dogs and cats. This guy can barely walk, let alone defend himself.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

I would wait for a phone call and base it on what they say. If they don't seem to give a crap about the cat, you can lie and say it ran away. Then you can find a no-kill shelter to place it with a good home.

If you don't get a phone call soon, maybe knock on their neighbor's door and see what they have to say about it. They might give you some insight into the situation.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 05:17 PM   #5
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Re: The Cat Conundrum


First thought was that the cat must be ill -- but he accepted food from you so that's not right. If the owner is neglecting the animal you should call the humane society. Hopefully is some mistake that you helped to remedy.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 05:29 PM   #6
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

I thought about that while carrying it on the way home. Maybe feline leukemia or feline aids.

In which case why the hell was it roaming around outside, unable to defend itself?

We went back and knocked on the door, no answer. Nobody's home in the area that I could see.

This isnt much of a "no kill shelter" sort of area. We've got an animal control/shelter thing that makes a lot of medieval dungeons look pretty good. The nearest "nice" no kill shelter is about an hour or so away. If I take him over there, they'll try to contact the owner and get an explanation of whats going on if they respond. If they dont respond or dont give a decent explanation for starving the pet, they'll probably keep it a week for adoption and then put it down.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

Take him to the shelter so the authorities can deal with the neglectful owners

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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 06:03 PM   #8
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Take him to the shelter so the authorities can deal with the neglectful owners*
Agreed. There is no "win" in it for you by doing anything else. Point being you do not know what is going on over at that house and there is personal risk involved. That is a job for the authorities.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 06:16 PM   #9
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

If you think the residents have kids call around to try to find their friends or relatives. They would know if the home occupants are out of town, and if the cat has been well cared for in the past. It could be that they took the cat with them and it escaped, finding its way home after a long walk. Another option is to call your local vets. They may know the cat and its owners.

Lastly, 'welfare check' by the police on the home occupants.

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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 07:15 PM   #10
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

I would go back to the house and see what is going on, or maybe call the police. It is possible that the old guy/lady(?) living there died a month ago and nobody noticed -yet-.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #11
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

I thought that one too. House seems really, really empty, but the back yard has a bunch of small kids toys all over the place.

My plan at this point is drop the guy off at animal control tomorrow, who operates the only shelter in town, and call the police to let them know someone may have a problem over there.

About all I can do.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 06:58 AM   #12
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

Yes, the shelter has trained people to assess the situation. He may have run away and is just now finding his way back home... They can deal with the owners, and give the cat the medical treatment it might need. I think if the people were trying to"lose" the cat, they wouldn't have bothered with a collar with ID.

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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 08:35 AM   #13
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

Return to the owner, if possible. They didn't dump it. Had they done so, they would have removed all id....
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 11:12 AM   #14
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

Problem solved, sort of. The owners finally called me back. They were away for a few days. Cat got sick a year ago and lost all the weight and the vet couldnt figure out what was wrong with it. Its still eating.

I doubt the vet couldnt figure out what was wrong with it, and in any case, the animal isnt able to escape or defend itself from predators and shouldnt be left outside.

Took it back. Not my problem. There was no upside for the animal or anyone else to make any further fuss out of it.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 11:22 AM   #15
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

There is a street person here in SF ususally down on Market near Battery. He has a shopping cart stuffed 6 ft high and atop it is an umbrella tilted just right to shade his two cats.

Large orange cats, very well cared for and fed. He gets up and adjusts the umbrella as needed during the day. The cats just sleep atop a pile of blankets.

Seems like a good life for all involved.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 11:57 AM   #16
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

We had a cat escape from the collar and leash that we had on it. We were outside with the cats walking them in the yard, when something scared the one cat and she twisted and freed herself from the collar. We now have rabbit harnesses for them. Anyway, we scoured the neighborhood, knocked on neighbor's doors and put up reward posters for her. Our cats are declawed and I was worried sick about her. In the process of looking for her, we ended up with 3 other kittens, and over 5 weeks later a neighbor 3 houses up, knocked at our door and said she thought our cat was in her yard crying to get in the house. Her daughter is allergic to cats, so she would not let it in. It was getting ready to storm. I went up and was pretty sure that it was our cat, but not completely sure because she had lost over 1/2 of her body weight. I took her for an emergency visit to our vet that day and she has since recovered and has her fat pads back. She is our smallest cat and is full grown. Anyway, that is how we ended up with 5 cats (nuts) and we paid the reward. If you had seen our cat, you would have thought that we were definitely starving her.

The first cat that we had for our daughter, was sick from day one and we did not realize it for awhile. I took that kitten to 3 different vets and one of the vets kept the kitten overnight, but the kitten still died. They did not know what was wrong with her. All of our cats are healthy now.

I agree that if the cat is sick, then it should not be left outside to fend for itself. Our cats are indoor cats and we rarely take them out on leashes.

It is nice to know that there are caring people out there like yourself, to take the cat home and to try to help it.

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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 12:29 PM   #17
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

It may be that the Vet can't fix what ails the cat, or the treatment is very expensive and the Vet felt that the family shouldn't be tempted to treat it.

My son and his wife spent thousands treating a cat with cancer. The cat recovered but it strapped them for months.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 02:59 PM   #18
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

I'm glad that the cat is back home....and I would have taken it home with me and fed it as you did.

My cat is 11 and not as fast as he was as a young cat. I do let him out, but don't leave him out very long. He usually just hangs out on the back patio anyway. I don't let him out at night which of course is when he prefers to go out. We have too many critters that would eat him around.

I compromise by leaving the window up at night so he has a good view and can sniff the outside air. He also watches out the slider, I guess it makes him feel like a cat. He woke me up one night growling at the raccoons on the patio. Didn't faze them a bit.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 06:04 PM   #19
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

My mom had a big shiny black cat that guarded the house better than any dog. Anyone or anything came near entering that house better have a family escort.

I saw him chase a huge dog about a block and no question he would have kicked that dog's arse.

I acutally don't like cat's but a few have been a bit of fun.
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Re: The Cat Conundrum
Old 06-12-2006, 07:26 PM   #20
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Re: The Cat Conundrum

About 5 years ago I was grilling some chicken wings on the grill on the back deck of my mcmansion when a big lost dog wandered up the steps with his nose in full gear. I read his tags and got his mom and dads phone number and went to call them to come get him. When I opened the sliding glass door my smallest cat came out like her tail was on fire, and chased the dog off the deck and around the corner of the house.

When I stopped laughing I called for a rescue...

This poor cat was outside of his yard and meandering by a main road that carries plenty of traffic, sports a number of unleashed dogs and lots of young cats and other predators. Cat could barely make forward headway in its condition...a couple of mice could have brought him down.

Hopefully the owners will reconsider their strategy of leaving him out on the street while they're not even home.
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